Chic shops and restaurants, skyscraper canyons and quaint Victorian homes and businesses, and classy hotels can all be found in Toronto's Bloor-Yorkville area. The former bohemian hotspot of Yorkville Avenue has changed with the times, with hippies being replaced by young money with a taste for fashion, and music venues and bars being replaced by trendy shops and cafes. Decades of reinvestment has transformed the shabby to charming on Yorkville Avenue, including the recent repaving of the stretch between Yonge and Bay Streets, fronting the new Four Seasons Hotel and Residences. The replacement of asphalt with pavers has had a positive visual effect on this stretch, and similar work is now being carried out on the stretch to the west, between Bay Street and Avenue Road.
A new watermain is being constructed and sidewalk upgrades are being done alongside the roadwork, which involves the installation of grey stone pavers arranged in a herringbone pattern, accented with some reddish-brown ones. The project also involves the addition of other public realm upgrades like benches, street trees, and planters, all expected to wrap up later this month. Yorkville Avenue has been closed in phases since April of this year, and Bellair Street has also been closed and will soon undergo the same upgrades.
Watermain construction commenced in late April, and was followed by road repaving and sidewalk replacement. While the blocks to the east are still a busy work site, a large stretch of Yorkville Ave, between Avenue Road and Hazelton Ave, is now practically complete, and if we may say, looking fantastic.
The new sidewalk pavers used are a much better fit for the area, and mesh nicely with the brick-paved laneways and forecourts found in the vicinity. Though the transition between paver and brick may seem just a bit awkward on the connection to Olde York Lane, weathering of the factory-fresh pavers will help them fit in with the well-worn brick paving.
Shops and restaurants have remained open throughout the street closures, though business is sure to pick up as more of Yorkville Avenue reopens. We look forward to the completion of the repaving work, and hope to see more of these types of public realm upgrades throughout the city.